Each estimate we prepare will carefully detail what we are bidding and how much it will cost. Our goal is to provide all critical details so that there are no uncertainties. The process typically includes the several major activities; nevertheless, the exact process varies between projects. Here are the major steps:
Removal: If an existing slab exists, we will break it up, cut out rebar and/or wire mesh, and haul the old product away for disposal. If we are installing a new foundation, we will move in after the surface has been properly cleared and compacted. At this stage, it is important that all organic materials are removed (sticks, paper, etc.). Rocks and nails are fine.
Form Setters: At this stage, a crew will move into setup forms that will hold the concrete in place while it dries (or cures). A 6″ x 6″ 9/9 welded wire mesh will be put in place during the concrete pour for reinforcement. If rebar is used, it should overlap the next piece by 2′ to 2.5′.
Compaction: Once the area is formed, we will work to compact the ground to create a solid surface for our concrete project. Once compacted, we will typically bring in road base to compact further and create a stronger base. In some instances, we will remove soil to make room for the road base. Please, note that it is never a good idea to pour concrete on a frozen surface. As the ground thaws, areas will expand and shrink, which can cause the concrete to crack. A winter pour will be successful if the ground is thawed and the concrete is covered after the pour.
Pouring: The key to strong concrete is ensuring that the concrete cures evenly throughout the entire thickness. Problems can arise when conditions are not favorable for the process. The following elements can have an impact if not properly adjusted for: cold, heat, rain, shade, and wind. The technician will attempt to mitigate these risks, depending on the risk element. For example, the freshly poured concrete will be covered with heat blankets (thermal protection) if the temperature is expected to drop below 40 degrees within the next 48 hours. In addition, the concrete mix will include the right amount of calcium. Accelerators will be added if the cure time needs to be speeded up. In contrast, retarders will be added to slow the curing process. Ensuring concrete cures are uniform is more of an art than a science and comes with experience. That being said, there are risks outside of our control that could negatively impact the final result.
Concrete with a 2,500 PSI (pounds per square inch) will generally meet most building codes. That said, we always quote, order, and install concrete with a 4,000-psi attribute. The psi will be specifically identified in the quote. This means that the concrete should be able to withstand up to 4,000 pounds in a one square inch area without compromising. A large SUV or truck can weigh up to 5,500 pounds, and the weight is spread over way more than a square inch. A more expensive option is to order concrete with fiberglass mesh embedded in the concrete. Many builders will recommend just using fiber mesh without wire mesh. We feel that wire mesh should always be installed regardless.
The Pour: As the concrete is being poured it is important to lift the wire mesh up. When the pour starts, it is a race against time to ensure that the concrete does not set up too fast. Concrete is not self-leveling; hence, the technicians will need to work the concrete to have the right angles for proper drainage.
Finishers: The finishers will smooth out high and low spots and fill holes. A lot of attention is directed to mending surface imperfections. Finishers will work to get the surface as smooth as possible, without overworking the cream. The floats are used to bring the cream to the top. As needed, sides are then vibrated to avoid the honeycomb look on the edges. We will wait for all the “bleed water” to disappear from the surface of the slab before troweling. The bleed water will rise to the surface during the curing process and will reabsorb into the slab or evaporate from the surface over time. Finally, one will drag a broom across the surface for a final finish, depending on the application and/or finish desired.
Stress Lines: Control joints are put in place during the finishing process by hand. For commercial floors, we wait 24-48 hours, and then cut 1/2 to 1″ deep stress lines with a diamond blade going deeper at the edges.
After We Leave: Keep the surface moist for at least next seven days. Most of the concrete curing will occur over the next 21 days. Otherwise, shading the slab with burlap, straw, or a plastic blanket will help.
Payment: Once a 50% deposit is received, we put the customer on our schedule. The remainder is due upon completion of the job. We accept checks, cash, and credit card. If paying via credit card, we require a 3.5% mark-up to cover the credit card processing fees.
Warranty: All material is guaranteed to be as specified in the estimate and we will strive to complete the work in accordance with industry best practice. We attempt to take the appropriate precautions to mitigate cracking risk and maximize the life of our work. Colorado rapid weather changes, expansive clay soil, salting, mag chloride, misuse of the surface, failure to properly seal on an annual basis, add-ons to existing concrete where we could not properly compact the surface, and an assortment of other things outside of our control can cause concrete to fail. It is commonly stated that there are two types of concrete: “concrete that has cracked and concrete that will crack”. Our goal is to do things to mitigate and delay that risk. Properly installed and cared for concrete has the potential of looking beautiful for a long time, which is why we believe concrete is a good choice.
Free Estimates: We provide estimates throughout Denver and the surrounding area including Boulder and Castle Rock. After our onsite visit, we will e-mail your estimate for your consideration.
Type of Work: Our company installs concrete foundations, driveways, stamped concrete, steps, curbs, and city gutters.
Insurance: Best Denver Concrete carries a $2M general liability policy.
Business License: Our business license number is 17BS-FIRCO-223 and is dated 3/6/17. For all city curb and gutter work we will be required to pull a permit for the city or county where the work is being completed.